Mounds are large piles of rough mountain stones or smooth river stones or a combination of the two types. Most mounds are probably funerary in function; that is, they were raised at the time of an individual’s death and to mark that person’s burial. Whether, however, the body was actually placed under the mound or in a burial chamber sunk into the ground, varies according to period and culture. Single mounds may be simple or collared: that is, ringed with a contrastingly colored stone or with vertical stones of a tooth-like appearance tilted toward the center of the structure. Four-cornered mounds are a variation on the structure type and have been definitively identified as Bronze Age burials. Rows of mounds arranged roughly from north to south are usually understood as burial mounds of the Early Nomadic period (Late Bronze–Early Iron Ages). Some low mounds found in association with khirigsuur may have functioned as altars.

Mounds: Map | Image Gallery